Alaska Visitor Information Centers

Most major cities in Alaska, as well as the state and national parks, have good visitors centers— we even have public lands information centers. They are all great resources to contact before you come to Alaska, and certainly while you’re here. They can be a big help with the trip-planning process, giving you free maps and offering suggestions for the best places to check out—and telling you why those places will be so memorable.

Visitor Information Centers

Forty min­utes from down­town Anchor­age lies Eagle Riv­er Nature Cen­ter, a gate­way to Chugach State Park and a glacial riv­er val­ley as wild and dra­mat­ic as any in Alas­ka. Enjoy an easy, 3‑mile nature walk on the Albert Loop or trek up-val­ley 5 miles to see plung­ing water­falls and 3,000-foot cliffs. In win­ter, tra­verse the trails on cross-coun­try skis or snowshoes.

The Mor­ris Thomp­son Cul­tur­al and Vis­i­tors Cen­ter in down­town Fair­banks has brochures, maps, free WiFi and tele­phone, dai­ly lodg­ing avail­abil­i­ty, and local walk­ing and dri­ving tours. Serv­ing as the region­al vis­i­tor facil­i­ty, the friend­ly and knowl­edge­able staff have answers to all your questions. 

Oper­at­ed by the U.S. For­est Ser­vice and open only in sum­mer­time, it’s staffed by guides who can help you under­stand the area. There’s also a stream that runs thick with pink and chum salmon when they return each sum­mer to spawn. Thanks to a foot­bridge over the stream and the clear Alaskan water, it’s easy to see the fish. (The best view­ing is from mid-July through Octo­ber.) You may also see black bears, who come to feast on the fish.

Need a din­ner rec­om­men­da­tion? Want to know the best place to see whales? Or how about kid-friend­ly activ­i­ties in Seward? There’s no bet­ter place to have your ques­tions answered and to learn about Seward than the Seward Cham­ber of Com­merce and Vis­i­tors Center.

Stuffed bears and musk ox: The Valdez Vis­i­tors Cen­ter serves up some unex­pect­ed exhibits, along with all the infor­ma­tion you need to know to have a great expe­ri­ence in town. The knowl­edge­able locals who staff the cen­ter can help answer ques­tions, hand out town maps and vis­i­tor guides, and direct you to the wealth of brochures on tour oper­a­tors and hotels.

The City of Kenai’s vis­i­tor cen­ter goes well beyond a per­son at a counter hand­ing out maps. You’ll find an impres­sive per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of Native Alaskan and local his­to­ry arti­facts, art exhibits, as well as the largest col­lec­tion of mount­ed bald eagles in North Amer­i­ca. The gift shop fea­tures sou­venirs, maps, books, music, and local­ly pro­duced items. And, indeed, friend­ly staffers dis­trib­ute infor­ma­tion on local lodg­ing, tours and…  ...more

Take a deep breath and explore Fair­banks! With the mid­night sum­mer sun shin­ing near­ly 24 hours a day, Fair­banks is burst­ing with ener­gy and things to do. Explore Fair­banks is head­quar­tered at the Mor­ris Thomp­son Cul­tur­al and Vis­i­tors Cen­ter which is also the hub of year-round staffed vis­i­tor infor­ma­tion and services.

Out on the tip of the Kenai Penin­su­la, at (lit­er­al­ly) the end of the road, sits the quirky town of Homer — the eco­tourism cap­i­tal of Alas­ka. Artists, adven­tur­ers, and food­ies all come to expe­ri­ence the town’s cre­ative ener­gy, great restau­rants, and gor­geous wilder­ness. And at the entrance to town, just off the Ster­ling High­way, you’ll find the Homer Cham­ber of Com­merce Vis­i­tor Center.

Locat­ed on the banks of the Kenai Riv­er and open 7 days a week in the sum­mer. Stop by and pick up a Sol­dot­na Vis­i­tors Guide as well as view pho­tos from all over the Kenai Penin­su­la. Don’t miss the exhib­it on the world record king salmon — 97 pound, 4 ounces!

At any Vis­it Anchor­age infor­ma­tion cen­ter loca­tion, you can find brochures and maps to help you chart your trip around Anchor­age and South­cen­tral Alas­ka. Pay a vis­it to the ulti­mate Anchor­age experts who are in the know on the best activ­i­ties, restau­rants, tours and oth­er local hot spots. Log Cab­in and Down­town Vis­i­tor Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter Open dai­ly, except major hol­i­days: Mid May to mid Sep­tem­ber: 8am-7pm Mid Septe­me­ber to mid…  ...more

Stop here for more infor­ma­tion about the park and local area, exhibits, and ranger-led activ­i­ties, as well as an Alas­ka Geo­graph­ic book­store. Always check on cur­rent Nabesna Road and trail con­di­tions before begin­ning your jour­ney. Recre­ation­al off-road vehi­cles (ORVs) are typ­i­cal­ly allowed on estab­lished trails. How­ev­er, trails can be tem­porar­i­ly closed to ORVs due to main­te­nance and improve­ments. ORV per­mits are required and avail­able at…  ...more

This infor­ma­tion cen­ter is a part­ner­ship between the BLM, the US Fish & Wildlife Ser­vice and the Nation­al Park Ser­vice. The Cen­ter is open dai­ly from noon to 10 p.m. late May — ear­ly Sep­tem­ber. Here you will find infor­ma­tion and inter­pre­tive dis­plays about the regions his­to­ry, nat­ur­al envi­ron­ment and recre­ation oppor­tu­ni­ties in the area. There’s also an Alas­ka Geo­graph­ic Asso­ci­a­tion bookstore.

Whether or not you’re a World War II schol­ar, the sto­ry of the Aleut­ian Islands’ role in the sec­ond great war is fas­ci­nat­ing. The mil­i­tary buildup, the bat­tles, the removal and even­tu­al return of Aleut res­i­dents. It’s all detailed at the Aleut­ian World War II Visitor’s Cen­ter, locat­ed in an his­toric Aerol­o­gy Oper­a­tions Build­ing that has been ren­o­vat­ed to its orig­i­nal 1940s-style façade. 

From mid-Sep­tem­ber to mid-May, the Murie Sci­ence Learn­ing Cen­ter serves as Denali Nation­al Park’s win­ter vis­i­tors’ cen­ter. It’s open from 9am to 4pm and pro­vides an array of park exhibits and movies. You can talk with rangers about cur­rent trail con­di­tions, bor­row a pair of snow­shoes, and get back­coun­try per­mits for overnight trips. Head out to explore trails from the cen­ter or dri­ve a cou­ple miles fur­ther up the park road to the Park…  ...more

Some 80 per­cent of Alaskan land is pub­lic space. And no one has more infor­ma­tion on it all than the Alas­ka Pub­lic Lands Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter. Stop by for trip-plan­ning infor­ma­tion, inter­ac­tive dis­plays, and movies on Alaska’s wildlife, cul­tures, and des­ti­na­tions. Whether you like to hike, camp, hunt, fish, view wildlife, or take scenic dri­ves, the cen­ter can point you in the right direc­tion. You’ll also find a vari­ety of edu­ca­tion­al programs,…  ...more

At Mile­post 75 Tay­lor High­way you can pull off and read the inter­pre­tive pan­els to learn more about the Fortymile gold rush. 

Housed in a one-room log cab­in, this muse­um and vis­i­tor cen­ter packs a lot into its small space. Learn about Aht­na Athabas­can natives, explore min­ing and trap­ping his­to­ry, and check out the his­to­ry of the fas­ci­nat­ing Colony project — a New Deal pro­gram that brought 204 farm fam­i­lies to Alas­ka. You can also pick up tour books and maps, or ask the knowl­edge­able staff about area attrac­tions. The museum’s per­ma­nent col­lec­tion spans the development…  ...more

Built in 1939 by the Civil­ian Con­ser­va­tion Corps, the Won­der Lake his­toric ranger sta­tion was built to serve as quar­ters at the west end of the road. Today it pri­mar­il­ly serves vis­i­tors. The Park staff use addi­tion­al struc­tures for sum­mer hous­ing. The com­pact site has indi­vid­ual ranger bunkhous­es, a head­quar­ters build­ing, a shop, a pump shed, and a few oth­er mis­cel­la­neous small struc­tures. Eight Park rangers are on site from mid-May to…  ...more

The Unalaska/​Port of Dutch Har­bor Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bureau is estab­lished to pro­mote and encour­age tourism and to sup­port the devel­op­ment and sus­tain­abil­i­ty of tourism infra­struc­ture in the Unalaska/​Dutch Har­bor Region. They are Mon­day through Fri­day 8am to 5pm. Feel free to drop in, call, or email them with any ques­tions about the region. The Unalas­ka / Port of Dutch Har­bor CVB is a great resource; pro­vid­ing maps, vis­i­tor guides,  ...more

Owned and oper­at­ed by the Nation­al Park Ser­vice, this hall often hosts speak­ers, movies, potlucks, yoga, music, wed­dings, and oth­er com­mu­ni­ty events. You’ll like­ly see fly­ers around town about these events, which are usu­al­ly held for no charge (though they may request dona­tions). If there is some­thing going on dur­ing your vis­it to town, don’t be shy; it’s worth your while to find out what’s hap­pen­ing. And check in at the NPS vis­i­tor cen­ter to see  ...more

Dri­ving into McCarthy you’ll see a sign for the NPS kiosk on the left. This is a great place to get ori­ent­ed to the McCarthy and Ken­ni­cott area as well as make the most of your vis­it here. The infor­ma­tion kiosk is open dai­ly dur­ing the sum­mer and has friend­ly park rangers and vol­un­teers to answer ques­tions about the McCarthy and Ken­ni­cott area as well as give you infor­ma­tion about park­ing and shut­tle ser­vice. This is a also good place to use…  ...more

The Down­town Asso­ci­a­tion of Fair­banks has knowl­edge­able, local staff that are work­ing hard to encour­age and fos­ter eco­nom­ic growth that will result in a down­town that is a vital, ener­getic and an attrac­tive cen­ter of the com­mu­ni­ty. Their pri­ma­ry focus is to pro­mote, pre­serve and revi­tal­ize Down­town Fair­banks. Among oth­er projects, they are work­ing on a com­pre­hen­sive, achiev­able com­mu­ni­ty plan for the revi­tal­iza­tion and future growth of…  ...more

Take a step back into Seldovia’s past while learn­ing about the present at the Sel­dovia Muse­um & Vis­i­tor Cen­ter. Check out detailed exhibits on the cul­tur­al tra­di­tions and lega­cies of the Native peo­ples of the area, see inter­ac­tive wildlife exhibits and pick up free trav­el infor­ma­tion and maps.

Vis­it the Gird­wood Cham­ber web­site for infor­ma­tion on lodg­ing, activ­i­ties, restau­rants, shops and more. You can also view a map of the town to help plan your stay in Gird­wood. The Gird­wood Cham­ber does not have a phys­i­cal loca­tion, vis­it web­site or email for information. 

This large glacial lake was dammed by a ter­mi­nal moraine locat­ed to the north. This area has beau­ti­ful views and good hik­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties into the Brooks Range. This is a great place to stop for infor­ma­tion about this region. There are inter­pre­tive pan­els with infor­ma­tion about the for­ma­tion of the Brooks Range, his­toric uses of the area and major archae­o­log­i­cal dis­cov­er­ies; the Arc­tic Nation­al Wildlife Refuge and Gates of the Arc­tic National…  ...more

Walk­ing down the main street of Ken­necott, you can’t miss the Nation­al Park Ser­vice vis­i­tor cen­ter on the left, housed in the his­toric gen­er­al store and post office.Stop in and learn about the his­to­ry: The sto­ry goes that when the last train left Ken­ni­cott in 1938, peo­ple had to sud­den­ly aban­don their lives with only a few hours of warn­ing. Until the 1970’s you could still come and stock up on beans, flour, and oth­er sta­ples left behind.You’ll…  ...more

Locat­ed in down­town Juneau, the Cen­ten­ni­al Hall Con­ven­tion Cen­ter, is a great loca­tion to hold an event. Con­certs, con­ven­tions, meet­ings, and trade shows are reg­u­lar­ly held in this con­ve­nient location. 

You’ll find friend­ly, local staff who are ready to answer ques­tions and help you with your trip, and it’s open year round. In a hur­ry? At least stop in to pick up a free trav­el guide or brochure.

Take a walk out­side the Nature Cen­ter on the Mount Roberts Alpine Loop Trail. 

It’s rare when a Nation­al Wildlife Refuge has an amaz­ing vis­i­tor cen­ter, but this one is a must-see. Kids and adults will love the dis­plays, includ­ing the com­plete skele­ton of a grey whale. You can learn about the grey whale migra­tion from Baja to the Bering Sea, the food they eat, their evo­lu­tion­ary devel­op­ments, and the sev­en-year process of dis­cov­er­ing and trans­port­ing the skele­ton to the muse­um. The cen­ter also coor­di­nates educational…  ...more

Built in 1959 as the Nation­al Guard Armory, the build­ing was tak­en off-line in 2004. It was emp­ty for years, until the City and Bor­ough of Juneau Assem­bly hand­ed it off to the Juneau Arts & Human­i­ties Coun­cil to man­age as the Juneau Arts & Cul­ture Cen­ter. Today it pro­vides space for artists to work and show their creations. 

Trav­el­ing to Nome? Make the Nome Vis­i­tors Cen­ter your first stop. Pick up some brochures, see a short video on Nome, say Hi” to Oscar” the stuffed musk ox, and talk to staff about things to do in and around town. Open dai­ly: 8 am — 5 pm in win­ter, 8 am — 7 pm in summer. 

Why go The For­est Service’s Begich, Bog­gs Vis­i­tor Cen­ter is locat­ed in Portage Val­ley, one of Alaska’s most vis­it­ed recre­ation areas. The val­ley is a show­case of glacial activ­i­ty with a num­ber of hang­ing” glac­i­ers grac­ing the encir­cling moun­tains. The vis­i­tor cen­ter is locat­ed on the north­west­ern shore of Portage Lake, and was built on the ter­mi­nal moraine left behind by Portage Glac­i­er almost a cen­tu­ry ago. The Trail of Blue Ice, Byron…  ...more

Hid­den in the trees, this lit­tle log cab­in vis­i­tor’s cen­ter can be easy to miss! How­ev­er, make sure to stop by and learn about all the activ­i­ties and sights to see in the sur­round­ing area. 

This log cab­in with a pitched roof and panoram­ic win­dows sits on a bluff beside the high­way and is easy to miss. But be sure to stop in for advice on your vis­it to the Mat-Su. There’s an infor­ma­tion­al video run­ning inside, plus a bevy of vol­un­teers who have at least 60 years com­bined expe­ri­ence in the area. Where should I eat din­ner? What tour should I take for wildlife view­ing? Where’s the best camp­ground? They help­ful locals here will help…  ...more

In a nation­al park with some 13 mil­lion acres, decid­ing on a spot for the vis­i­tor cen­ter can’t be easy. But the Nation­al Park Ser­vice found a great loca­tion in Cop­per Cen­ter, where you can get infor­ma­tion on hik­ing trails, back­coun­try expe­di­tions, flight­see­ing, and guid­ing com­pa­nies, along with books, brochures, and a relief mod­el of the park’s moun­tain ranges

Tetlin is one of only two refuges in Alas­ka that are road acces­si­ble. It har­bors a var­ied land­scape, from rugged snow­capped peaks and glacial­ly fed rivers to tun­dra, for­est, and wet­lands. The Refuge was estab­lished to con­serve water­fowl, rap­tors and oth­er migra­to­ry birds, furbear­ers, moose, and cari­bou — which lie in abun­dance with­in its bor­ders. The vis­i­tor cen­ter is about 1.5 hours from Tok.

The Denali Nation­al Park Vis­i­tors Cen­ter is actu­al­ly more of a cam­pus. The cen­ter itself is the main Nation­al Park Ser­vice wel­come and infor­ma­tion cen­ter and it is sur­round­ed by oth­er facil­i­ties that include a restau­rant, bookstore/​giftshop, bag check, bus stop and the Alas­ka Rail­road depot. 

Difficulty: Easy

Only 33 miles from the sum­mit of Denali, and at an ele­va­tion of 3300’, Eiel­son offers some of the most spec­tac­u­lar views of Denali (for­mer­ly Mt McKin­ley). There are many activ­i­ties you can do here, includ­ing ranger-guid­ed hikes up to near­by Tho­ro­fare Pass and self-guid­ed expi­ra­tion of the high-alpine tun­dra environment.

The Islands and Ocean Vis­i­tor Cen­ter is a com­pre­hen­sive estab­lish­ment on the Bypass that hous­es the Alas­ka Mar­itime Nation­al Wildlife Refuge, ded­i­cat­ed to under­stand­ing and con­serv­ing the marine envi­ron­ment. Their pro­grams include nat­u­ral­ist-guid­ed estu­ary and bird­ing walks and tide pool explo­rations just a lit­tle ways out­side the back door and down to the beach below the Center.

A good place to start any tour of Skag­way is the for­mer White Pass and Yukon Rail­road Depot. This mas­sive, col­or­ful struc­ture, built in 1898, was a dom­i­nant part of Skag­way life until 1969, when rail­road oper­a­tions moved to the WP&YR’s new build­ing two doors east. The old depot is now the Nation­al Park Ser­vice Vis­i­tor Cen­ter, where vis­i­tors can enjoy movies, walk­ing tours and oth­er activ­i­ties dur­ing the sum­mer. Although the tracks are now…  ...more

The Skag­way Con­ven­tion and Vis­i­tors Bureau pro­vides local infor­ma­tion for the his­toric town and out­ly­ing areas. Stop in at the vis­i­tor cen­ter down­town to get all your ques­tions answered. 

The Alas­ka Avalanche Infor­ma­tion Cen­ter works to increase pub­lic aware­ness and safe­ty through avalanche edu­ca­tion, and the net­work­ing of avalanche pro­fes­sion­als. It is entire­ly run by vol­un­teers who are pas­sion­ate about the outdoors.

If you want to climb Denali (Mt. McKin­ley), this is where you have to come to get your per­mit. Not a climber? Vis­it­ing is still a fas­ci­nat­ing les­son in moun­taineer­ing and Denal­i’s his­to­ry — from inter­pre­tive pro­grams to a tit­il­lat­ing video about climb­ing that shows through­out the day. The rus­tic and beau­ti­ful build­ing also hosts a per­ma­nent col­lec­tion of pho­tos of the Alas­ka Range. Pho­tog­ra­ph­er, explor­er, and sci­en­tist Brad­ford Wash­burn is…  ...more

This is a pop­u­lar attrac­tion with wildlife exhibits, free wildlife films, and rangers avail­able to answer about recre­ation and camp­ing in the refuge. Take a short walk down the nature trail to a view­ing plat­form. Use the spot­ting scope to look for wildlife on Head­quar­ters Lake.

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